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TOP STORY: Arsenal facing battle to keep Ozil?

Could Arsenal be looking at a scrap to keep Germany international Mesut Ozil at the Emirates? The Mirror thinks they could, reporting that a source claims club and player “are struggling to reach a compromise.”

The Gunners hope to persuade both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to put pen to paper on new terms soon, but the Mirror claims World Cup winner Ozil “wants a new contract in excess of £200,000 a week — which leaves Arsene Wenger facing a major battle to keep him.”

According to the report, Wenger “voiced some doubt for the first time” about Arsenal’s ability to keep hold of Ozil, whose existing deal runs out in 2018.

The Frenchman has said he believes the situation is “not just about money” and that the midfielder wants to feel he can win major trophies with the Londoners.

The Mirror quotes Wenger as saying: “That’s what we have to show. But we are in a league where everybody fights, and you cannot guarantee that to anybody.” Stressing that negotiations would remain “discreet,” he added: “We want to keep our best players, of course.”

But the report quotes the source as saying Ozil “knows his market value” — and that the parties are struggling to reach that compromise.

Meanwhile, the Sun suggests Arsenal’s hopes of landing Inter Milan star Mauro Icardi could be boosted after claims in the player’s new book.

It reports that Icardi “revealed he had become a hero among teammates for confronting an Ultra leader who had torn a shirt from a child’s hand to throw it back at him following a defeat to Sassuolo in 2015.”

Angry Inter fans, though, responded to that claim with a statement describing Icardi as “a clown” — and prompting the Sun to suggest a move to pastures new could now be tempting.

Fabregas ‘already in Milan talks’

Earlier this month, reports suggested Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas, linked with West Ham, could end up at AC Milan instead.

Milan were said to be ready to hold talks about a deal for 29-year-old Fabregas amid claims that Chelsea wanted a €10 million fee plus full-back Mattia de Sciglio in exchange for the Spain international.

But with or without the involvement of De Sciglio, Fabregas has begun talks about a January move to the San Siro, according to the Sun.

It says Milan’s proposed takeover by Chinese investors, due to be completed by the end of 2016, “would fund a move for the former Barcelona man,” adding that he is being eyed as a potential replacement for the injured Riccardo Montolivo.

Reports in Italy have claimed Milan CEO Marco Fassone, along with director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli, “have travelled to London to discuss the future of Fabregas.”


– He has hardly been in his new job five minutes, but it seems Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce knows exactly what he wants to pep up the club’s season — and what he wants is a new striker.

That striker could be Jordan Rhodes, currently at Middlesbrough, whose fine goal-scoring record in the Championship makes him ideal to help Villa’s campaign, according to the Birmingham Mail. It says that “despite the club splashing the cash on Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia under ex-boss Roberto Di Matteo, Bruce is expected to be given the nod” to make a Rhodes bid.

– Everton manager Ronald Koeman has a distinctive way of approaching transfer negotiations — once the subject of money crops up, he walks out.

The Liverpool Echo reports that Koeman, who has said he sees himself as “a coach rather than a manager” described his approach as “pointing out the player I want … and as soon as the money side comes up with the player, I will leave the room.”